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Pigeon Guillemot Life History


Habitat OceansNests on rocky coastlines; forages in near-shore waters.Back to top


Food FishFish, crustaceans, and marine invertebrates.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cliff

Nest Description

Shallow scrape in sand, soil, or gravel. Placed in cavity, crevice, or burrow, usually in cliff or boulder fields.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:1-2 eggs
Egg Description:Pale cream, may be tinged greenish or bluish, with large and small dark blotches, often concentrated in ring around large end.
Condition at Hatching:Covered with black down and can move about on land.
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Behavior Surface DiveDives under water to capture prey, using its wings to swim.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernThere is little information on population trends of Pigeon Guillemot, but numbers appear stable. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental population of less than 69,000 breeding birds, rates the species a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. This species is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Pigeon Guillemot numbers declined due to oil pollution and disturbance from humans and livestock in early 1900s, and probably by food shortages during warm-water years. Back to top


Ewins, Peter J. (1993). Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2020). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2020. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2020.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

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